Participant Name: Isabelle Lee

Major: Psychology and Social Behavior, Minor in Civic & Community Engagement

Year: Second year

Pronouns: She, Her, Her’s

Hello! My name is Isabelle Lee and I am a second-year Psychology & Social Behavior major and Civic & Community Engagement minor. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a deep appreciation for nature and a passion for community service and mental health advocacy. In high school, I was given the opportunity to volunteer abroad to rural China where I taught English to community members and participated in agricultural work. This life-changing experience showed me the beauty of meeting and hearing the stories of people from diverse backgrounds as well as immersing myself into another culture.

It wasn’t until I attended the Student Institute for Sustainability Leadership in 2017 where I was able to have a more profound understanding of and develop my love for sustainability. Hearing the negative impacts humans have had on Mother Earth broke my heart because nature has always been a source of comfort. With this newfound knowledge, I made a promise to myself to not only live more sustainably but also to do my part and shed light on sustainability-related issues to the rest of the UCI community by participating in the EarthReps program. In addition to EarthReps, I also currently serve as a Co-lead of Creative Visioning for ASUCI’s Mental Health Commission, a Peer Health Educator under the CSWHP, a mentor for the Antleader Mentorship Program, and work as a Student Assistant at the Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation.

I am so grateful to be a part of the Costa Rica Program and continue to grow my passions of sustainability, mental health advocacy, traveling, and community service. Even though mental health and the environment are not often viewed to be related to each other, it’s shown that the environment we surround ourselves it tends to affect our overall mental well-being. Personally, I’ve found that spending time outdoors has always made me the happiest as I feel at peace surrounded by what the Earth has to offer. I cannot wait to learn from community members about how to live more sustainably and hear how this has shaped their overall well-being as well as immerse myself in another culture. Through this program, I hope to grow as an individual and take what I learn from Costa Rica back to UCI to continue its sustainable mission.